Even with a blindfold, Casey could feel the landscape's pulse. From what he remembered, it was dawn.

He stood on top of a hill overlooking a long stretch of forest. Birches, he thought. He could see for miles, all the way to the horizon where a lazy morning sun crept lazily into the sky.

A sheet of clouds, wavy with turbulence, lay sprawled against the sun. Whispy little things. Almost like a moustache for the sky. Ha ha, Casey thought.

The good thing about these clouds, he thought, was how the fuzzy, pink dawn light played across them. It was really beautiful, he imagined.

And the trees! They took off for miles, setting off the sky. The dark green rippled out in waves, lapping up against distant foggy mountains. If you focused, you could see each individual tree, too.

Casey breathed in the clear air and felt it swirl around in his lungs. He shifted his feet and listened to the gravel clink below him. He breathed out slowly.

He listened and heard a forest full of birds going about their business. Good solid sound, that, he thought. A sound you can hang your hat on.

He listened closer and heard the trees shift as a wind bustled through them rudely, leaves crinkling in disgust. It pushed aside the forest and walked briskly up the hill toward Casey.

He shivered. It was warm, but the wind carried the suggestion of winter with it, an almost subliminal changing of tides. But men in Casey's position noticed these types of things. Well, he thought, winter always made me depressed anyway. He shivered again.

As he considered the scene before him, he sighed and thought, it's a good day to be alive.

Of course, it's also a good day to be dead.

Five rifles cracked and Casey slumped onto the gravel, wind whispering winter over him.

Steam by Dario Giannelli (source image)

Calm by shoofle

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